Uveitis is defined as the inflammation of the uvea or uveal tract – the eye’s middle layer. Uvea includes the iris, ciliary body and choroid . While uveitis can affect people across all working ages, it can affect children too.
Classification of uveitis :
Depending on the affected party of an eye, uveitis can be classified as :
- Anterior uveitis – Occuring in 75% cases, this is caused by the inflammation of either just the iris or inflammation of both ciliary body and iris.
- Intermediate uveitis – Occuring usually in young adults, teenagers and chidlren, this kind of uveitis affects behind the retina and the ciliary body.
- Posterior uveitis – Affecting the retina, choroid and the region in back of an eye.
Uveitis can be further classified as acute or chronic.
- Acute uveitis can last upto a few weeks to recur.
- Chronic uveitis can last upto or more than 3 months and symptoms can vary daily.
Symptoms of uveitis :
Symptoms of anterior uveitis are:
- Red eye accompanied with ache and pain which can be mildly aching or intensely uncomfortable,
- blurry, cloudy vision,
- small pupil,
- the iris has a slightly variant colour,
These symptoms can develop gradually within hours or make take a few days. It could be acute uveitis or chronic depending on the duration.
Symptoms of intermediate uveitis are:
- very mild redness or none
- blurred vision
Symptoms of posterior uveitui are :
- usually painless
- reduced vision
Symptoms develop slowly and can be damaging resulting in vision loss.
Causes of uveitis :
As such these are not clearly known but uveitis could result from:
- eye injury
- eye surgery,
- eye infection
- certain health conditions like autoimmune condition, inflammation, viral, bacterial, parasitic or funfal infections or immune deficiency.
Diagnosis of uveitis :
Uveitis is diagnosed through eye examination.X rays and blood tests can be done to find out the cause of the condition.
Treatment of uveitis :
This depends on the type, seriousness and cause of uveitis. While some will recover with eye drops, others need treatment with eye steroid injections.
The treatment aims to:
- relive pain,
- treat condition,
- control inflammation and
- treat complications leading to visual loss.
Different treatments could be :
Mydriatic eyedrops : dilate the pupil and reduce eye pain. If uveitis is diagnosed early then treatement with these eye drops can cure the condition with any visual loss.
Steroid eyedrops : decrease inflammation in the iris. They are not used if the condition has been caused by a bacteria or virus.
Steroid eye injections or tablets : are recommended when eye drops fail to have an effect. Injections are given using local anaesthesia and the patient is allowed to return home the same day. Sometimes steroid drips are given in hospitals.
Immunosuppressants : these are drugs which suppress the immune system and are used along with steroid treatment.
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